Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Body Needs A Break

Karen Knowler's* Robust Red Juice

It's been a little over six months since I embarked on The Raw Divas 7-Day raw food detox program. This blog is a record of the gradual inching away from green smoothies, mono-fruit meals, simple veggie snacks to big mixed salads, steamed vegetables, added grains, spicy salsas and sauces gracing pasta . . . on and on and on.

Not only does the scale show the results - UP, UP, UP. It's registering 4 - 5 lbs more than a month ago. But my energy level lags and I know, not just intellectually, but in every fiber of my being, that I'm sliding down the slippery slope — and if I keep on this path, the next thing will be burgers and fries!

I took the first step in that direction last evening. I dined out at a vegan spot, but had a "Philly-Dilly" on a big white French Hoagie roll! Yikes. The sandwich was laden with tasty, sautéed seitan (mock steak), peppers, onions, soy cheese and veganaise. As opposed to other things, it was relatively healthy, I guess. But I thought I was past that kind of eating!

As good as it all tasted going down, it rested in my stomach like the proverbial lead balloon. And I still felt a bit queasy when I awoke this morning.

It was a great wake-up call.

Coincidentally, if you believe in coincidence, providentially, if that's your bent, earlier in the week Heidi at Raw Food Right Now posted about her decision to embark on a juice feasting agenda. This is a big undertaking as the program runs 92 days. I read about her decision with interest and even spent some time investigating David Rainoshek's website, Juice Feasting, and watched the short introductory video. Right on the heels of looking into that site, Karen Knowler's weekly e-zine, Successfully Raw, arrived. And lo and behold, Karen's recipe of the week turned out to be a fantastic juice combination. The signs were all there! I knew I had to make some changes.

I assembled the ingredients called for in Karen's recipe and made about a quart of rosy red juice, which will be my mainstay for today's lunch. This is juice not a smoothie. Made in the juicer not the blender.

I'm posting the ingredients as Karen's newsletter is free to the public when you sign up for her free e-zine, and I certainly encourage you to sign up. Her experience, advice and inspiration provide a wealth of detailed guidance as we travel along the highway to health.
And believe me, every bit of help makes each step easier and more successful.

Karen's Tip-Top Cocktail*
1 beet (bulb only)
4 medium carrots
3 oranges
6 apples
1 small bunch of parsley
4 strawberries

Courtesy of: © Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach 2008,

I've often wondered how the wine enthusiasts can actually discern the various flavors in a sip of wine. Now I know! As I sipped my Tip-Top cocktail, I could taste the sweetness of the apple, the fresh, crisp herbal flavor of the flat leaf parsley, the robust, earthy flavor of the beet , the underlying richness from the carrots, and the light fresh flavor of the citrus. Karen reminds us not to omit the strawberries—and it's easy to see why, the bright, sweet finish they leave on the palate is unmistakable. This juice is a great example of "the whole being greater than the sum of its parts." It's a dynamite combination of fruit and vegetables offering a healthy dose of nutrients with a palate pleasing smooth finish. A nice way to give the digestive system a rest, maintain your energy, and enjoy nature's bounty.

I plan to follow a light eating pattern of juicing, raw fruits and veggies, green smoothies, raw nuts, seeds, lots of filtered water and only occasionally adding vegan soups or whole grain dishes over the next 30 days. I'll see how my system reacts and perhaps renegotiate my choices going forward but I feel certain they will lean toward more juicing, more raw food. I feel so good when I follow this eating lifestyle, but the years of habit, addictions, peer pressure, convenience, and poor time management, make it easy for us to slip back into old habits and eating patterns.

All we need to do is one good thing at a time, taking baby steps as we explore the options. Develop an eating plan that is right for ourselves based on our age, health, weight, lifestyle. And keep in mind that each right thing we do for ourselves brings us one step closer to realizing optimum health. Makes sense to me to at least try.


Charissa said...

Oh, you make me want fresh juice!!! I've been wanting to try Karen Knowler's juice recipe she sent out with her newsletter. Lovely post!

Linda in the Raw said...

I say YES to juices/green smoothies. There's nothing better!

Love the blog!